OKLAHOMA CITY -- When the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority named a team of regional firms to sell a $50 million issue set for late this month, out-of-state investment bankers offered a familiar excuse for why Wall Street was shut out of the deal: politics.

"That deal was done before we ever put stamps on our proposals," complained a Dallas-based banker for a Wall Street firm. "You can make the best bid in the world, but you cannot compete against those kinds of political connections."

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